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Old 09-11-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
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Default How sterilized does it need to be?

So whether you soak your equipment in bleach, c-brite, whatever, when you rinse away the chemicals with regular tap water, is it still considered sterilized? Cause I'm sure the tap water from the faucet/tub has some kind of nasties in it.

That said, do they make some kind of cleanser that you can soak everything in and then doesn't require a rinse? I guess I'm looking for optimal sterilization for the average brewer.

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:25 PM   #2
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I am not aware of any cleaners that do not require rinsing, but cleaning is not a replacement for sanitation.
There are two commonly available (in the USA) no rinse sanitizers - Starsan and Iodophor. These should not be used until the item to be sanitized is completely cleaned, but after soaking in the sanitizer for a few minutes, the sanitized items do not require rinsing.
Sterilization is not required for home brewing.

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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For sterilization you'd need an autoclave.

We sanitize at best. Star San is king. Requires the least amount of timed wet contact (meaning most of your item can simply be spritzed with a solution) and is a no-rinse sanitizer. Mixed to the proper solution in DO/RO water, and with frugal application, 5 gallons can last nearly a year.

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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Sterilized? We don't sterilize, we sanitize. It's nearly impossible outside of a lab or hospital setting to sterilize anything.

And like the Brit above said, cleaning and sanitization are two different things. First you clean, then you sanitize.

Typically we used some form of oxygen/hydrogen peroxide based cleanser to clean, such as Oxyclean Free, Pbr, stuff like that.

Then we rinse.

Then we use a sanitizer, and in modern times we tend to gravity to one of two NO RINSE/WET CONTACT sanitizers, Iodophor or Starsan.

Here's a couple threads to help you, our sticky; What Sanitisers and Cleaners are used.

I put a lot of good info and tips of effectively using sanitizers in here. Including a podcast by the creator of starsan, and one by a rep from iodophor talking about that and more-http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sani...uestion-54932/

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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So I meant sanitize, not sterilize! Any who, I'm guessing soaking your equipment in bleachy water for a day and then rinsing it out is not considered an acceptable sanitization? Post rinsing, it needs to be cleaned with either star San or iodophors?

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #6
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Oh, and if you bake your bottles prior to filling, isnt that considered sterile? Or as close as you can get?

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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The problem with using bleach on a regular basis, to sanitize OR clean, while at the same time using municipal water, certain minerals in whatever water you use and certain plastics, is that you could build up chlorophenols in your brewing systems, which could contribute to off flavors in your beer.

In some situations they work cumulatively by having little bits of chlorine in different parts of the brewing process that your beer may come in contact with, and it builds up and bammo plastic band aid flavor.

It's best to avoid chlorine as much as possible, and in the case of sanitizing ONLY in the most dire situations, like where you know for sure you have an infection.....we call it slash and burning.

I try to limit the amount of contact my gear comes to chlorine and chlorine products.

chlorophenols are funny that way, some folks aren't affected, and in other situations the right combination causes issues.

And unfortunately my understanding is that folks have little control over is their setups can handle it. I've heard of folks being successful for years with it, then they replace one piece of gear like their autosiphon, or move and change water sources, or have new plumbing put in, and suddenly they have them now.

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chungking View Post
So I meant sanitize, not sterilize! Any who, I'm guessing soaking your equipment in bleachy water for a day and then rinsing it out is not considered an acceptable sanitization? Post rinsing, it needs to be cleaned with either star San or iodophors?
No, you clean separately from sanitizing. Clean first, and then sanitize. I wouldn't soak any equipment (especially plastic) in bleach, as it can leave a flavor (called "chlorophenols") behind if the equipment is soaked and absorbs some of the bleach.

To clean, use some cleanser like oxyclean or other cleaner. When the equipment is cleaned, it can be sanitized just before use. To sanitize, use a bleach/water mix and rinse well, or use a no-rinse sanitizer like Iodophor or star-san.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chungking View Post
Oh, and if you bake your bottles prior to filling, isnt that considered sterile? Or as close as you can get?
Yes, baking would be sterilizing if the temperature is hot enough.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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It's only truly sterile if you have your oven and your bottling bucket in a clean room, and you wear an environmental suit into said clean room, so that the environment itself is sterile, so that the bottles remain sterile. Yes, the bottles would be sterile inside your oven, but as soon as they come outside and come in contact with the outside world, airborn nasties can come in contact with them and ruin that sterility. This is why contact sanitizers like starsan and iodophor are really really useful, and why you really ought to read up on those links Revvy provided above!

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Old 09-11-2012, 02:00 PM   #10
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We also pasterurize!

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